Article by Matt Rigby
February 4, 2020 at 10:22 am
Tapering your training
It’s time to start the all-important final aspect of your training: tapering.
Whilst it may seem counter-intuitive, tapering is essential to preventing injury before the big day, and ensuring you perform at your very best. So, try to keep your excitement under control, and resist the urge to train like mad, as the countdown begins!
What is tapering?
The taper period is when you reduce the intensity of your training as the half marathon approaches, to allow your body to properly recover and adjust. Each runner’s requirements will differ, and the person with whom you develop your training plan will help you plan the most effective taper period for your body.
Why is tapering important?
Tapering can dramatically reduce your risk of sustaining an injury during the race and prevent problems during your recovery period too.
During your taper period, your muscle glycogen levels return to their optimal level. Various enzymes, hormones and antioxidants, which are depleted during training, also return to their peak levels, and muscle and connective tissue is given chance to repair and strengthen in time for race day. Tapering also allows your immune system to improve dramatically after the strain of training.
The tapering period is also when your body will reap the benefits of training. The ways in which your performance improves through training are called ‘training adaptations’ and require a certain amount of rest to take place. This means that while you may not be working as hard during your taper, it’s an essential step towards being at your fittest and fastest by the time race day comes around.
Science for maximum performance
With your hard training done and your tapering period about to begin, there’s every chance you’re already keeping to a nutrient-rich diet to ensure maximum performance – but have you considered how you’ll stay hydrated and energized during the race? Runners Need has a wide range of nutrition and hydration foods and supplements to keep your blood sugar levels at peak and prevent the dreaded flagging. Visit Runners Need’s in-store experts to find the on-the-go products guaranteed to help you power through.